Another very easy day today: short distances, lovely countryside, friendly little towns, a profile mainly downhill, and plenty of inexpensive local food and drink.
Heading east out of Sault, I got my last look at Mont Ventoux (pic). Here, looming over the lavender fields, it actually looks more like the isolated big climb that it feels, than it did from Sault.
Lavender products are on sale everywhere here, but for me the aroma always conjures up visions of grandma’s bathroom circa 1968. Enough to drive anyone up a mountain.
Lunch was in Banon (pic), a lively provençale small town with lots of cafes and, bizarrely, France’s fifth-biggest bookshop, Le Bleuet. I looked to see if they had a copy of Bluff Your Way in Cycling in amongst their 150,000 titles in stock. They didn’t.
En route to my destination of Forcalquier I passed one of several examples of a borie (pic), an old traditional stone roundhouse dating from 2000BC.
Tiny, draughty, cold in winter and hot in summer, they anticipated British housebuilding values by four millennia.
As I post this I’m enjoying a rather excellent fish dinner for ten euros in the old town, and a pichet of local white for six. I like cycle touring.
Miles today: 33
Miles since St Malo: 913